What is the Difference Between Tags and Custom Field Sets?

This is one of the most common questions we get by email and during onboarding sessions! What is the difference between a tag and a Custom Field Set and which should I be using? Each can be really useful in different ways! Let’s first talk about what each is and then we’ll jump into examples of how you can use them!

What is a tag?

A tag is a word or phrase you can use to group similar records (contacts, tasks, lists) together. When you tag contact records, you are able to filter, search, and build lists based off of that tag name. You can create tags from a record directly using the tag box, or in the ‘Account Settings’ section, which you can find under ‘Settings’ after you click on your name in the top left hand corner. You can also add tags from the import screen when you are importing your contacts!

Add tags right from the contact view in Batchbook

Now, for Custom Field Sets….

Like tags, a Custom Field Set allows you to group similar records together; BUT also allows you to add additional custom data fields and relevant information to that record. Custom Field Sets can be applied to contacts (company or individual), communications and/or To-Do’s.

You can build your Custom Field Sets by clicking on your name in the top, left hand corner and choosing ‘Custom Fields’. There are plenty of field types to choose from like text, number, data, multiple choice, yes/no, and the list goes on.

Customer Custom Field Set in Batchbook

Tag vs. Custom Field Set

This is where you might be saying to yourself, I’m not sure if I should be using a tag or a Custom Field Set? Here are some examples of how you might use each:


Tags are super useful when you want to group contacts together but don’t need any extra information.

For example, maybe you need to know the type of relationship you have with a contact. You could tag them, customer, affiliate, partner, etc. Maybe you need to know that a group of contacts attended the same event. If there is nothing more that you need to know about the event (like where it was, when it was, etc.) this is the perfect time to use a tag!

In the past we have referred to tags as virtual paperclips. They’re like bookmarks for your contacts! As you can imagine, tag names will be completely different based on your industry, workflow, and personal preferences, but they can be very helpful!

Custom Field Sets

Now, if you’re saying to yourself, I actually do need to know more information about my customers and partners or I do need to know where and when that event was, that is where you want to use Custom Field Sets!

For example, you could create a Custom Field Set named “customers” and within that field set, you could create a field for how you met the person, when you met them, when their birthday is so you can reach out to them and say “Happy Birthday”, their favorite products, when the last time is that they bought that product from you, etc.

Custom field sets let you record customer info

Like tags, you can search for the Custom Field Set itself, but you can also search for the specific data within the Custom Field Set!

Creating Custom Field Sets and having this additional custom data is so valuable! By knowing all you can know about your contacts, you’ll be able to foster those relationships that mean the most to you and your business!

Again, the Custom Field Sets will vary greatly depending on your industry and we are happy to help with any questions you have! Email us anytime at help@batchblue.com. Also, consider using some onboarding time! We find that this is a great opportunity for our customers to ask us any burning questions about setting up their Custom Field Sets and workflow!


Check out some example Custom Field Sets we have put together in our Knowledge Base:

Custom Field Set Examples for Contacts

Custom Field Set Examples for Communications

Custom Field Set Examples for To-Dos

Please feel free to share ways you are using tags or Custom Field Sets! We would love to hear them!


About Jen Capenito